I’ll confess this up front: My name is Tammy, and I read comic books. My comic book reading tends toward DC titles with rare forays into the Marvel universe. I never read Iron Man. My knowledge of the character was limited to brief mentions of Tony Stark by other characters and what I gleaned from Wikipedia shortly before seeing the movie. Iron Man may work its way into my stack now.
I liked the movie. A lot. More than I thought I would. At 2 hours, it’s a little long. Jon Favreau could have shaved 15 minutes out of it here and there. I’m echoing other reviews, but because the Iron Man origin isn’t rooted in childhood trauma or discovering some ancient artifact with a lot of back story, the movie is able to get through establishing Stark’s character and the genesis of Iron Man pretty quickly. Some quick character sketches that the actors have fun with and it’s off and running.The actors are good. Robert Downey, Jr. does a credible job as Stark and allows himself to have fun with the role. Superhero movies are, by nature, over the top, but Downey’s responsible for keeping this one tethered in our reality. Jeff Bridges doesn’t have a lot to do other than be treacherous, traitorly and megalomaniacal, but he and his bald head do a good job with it. Terrence Howard doesn’t have a lot to do as Rhodes in this one, but I never questioned why he and Stark were friends. I liked the reference to War Machine, too. And this is one of the few movies in which I didn’t mind Gwyneth Paltrow. In fact, she did a good job with Pepper. It’ll be interesting to see if future movies (#2 coming out summer 2010) follow the Marvel plot of having her marry Happy.
What I liked most about the movie is that, unlike other summer action/superhero/blockbuster popcorn fests, the story didn’t exist as a way to get from one action sequence to the next. There was a beginning, middle and end … and yes, lots of action along the way, but it served the plot. More or less. There were some gratuitous action bits and I don’t know what type of grates Paltrow was able to run across in those stilettos, but I liked it.
On the Tammy scale, this is a “see it in the theater, possibly a matinee” if only to enjoy the sound system. And if you haven’t seen the movie yet, stick around until the very end of the credits (thanks, Nick) for a should-be-expected cameo that may only be funny to or appreciated by fellow comic geeks.